The government of Uganda has kept on increasing its expenditure on education year after year however this expenditure is not matching with the teachers output especially in line to pupil’s performance, teacher’s attendance, and teacher’s role as care givers as well as parent’s contribution towards improving the education of children.
The national action plan on child development 2016/2021 focuses on reducing risks of abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect of children.
Schools being places were children stay most; it has been singled out as a place of concern towards preventing violence against children and adolescents.
Good Hope foundation organized a capacity building training for the teachers on prevention of violence against children and adolescents. The training was attended by the teachers from four schools of operation which include; Kisinga Vocation Secondary school, Kiburara primary school, Kenyange Muslim primary school and Karusandara SDA primary school all from Kisinga and Karusandara Sub Counties. 40 teachers; 17 females and 23 males attended the training.
The training focused on;
Understanding who a teacher is: a teacher as a care giver not a law enforcement officer which the facilitator said most teachers are practicing. Teachers are advised to act as care givers in order to facilitate child development and learning.
Members were then taken through the code of conduct as the Guiding principle or set of standards of teachers. It was unfortunate that most of the teachers have never read or have taken time without reading these regulations and this explains the reasons behind the high cases of violence against children and adolescents in schools. Accordingly, the code of conduct should assist in reducing violence against children, ensuring increase in children’s enrolment and ensuring all children enrolled complete school.
A teacher-student relationship was highly emphasized by the facilitator who said there should not be a big gap between teachers and learners. He said there is need to create a conducive environment that will facilitate learners to interact freely with the teachers. Every learner has unique characteristics and problems and without good friendship between the learners and teachers it means the learners will remain suffering with violations without the teachers knowledge who are in such case the care givers. Unless the teachers and students relationship is bridged, violence against children shall not be prevented as they cannot detect children at a risk of violation.
Using students/learners for personal gain was also mentioned which they said it is very rampant in most rural primary schools where learners are used as baby seater to children of female teachers, working in gardens of teachers.
The facilitator also had to highlight on the issue of punishments as stipulated in the code of conduct where he said caning is not allowed in the teaching practice and the use of canes as pointers by most teachers, sometimes distracts the learners attention as it creates a state of fear therefore it is recommended for teachers to use charts as pointers not canes.
The code of conduct restricts teachers from engaging in sexual affairs with their learners, not using their influence as a teacher at the expense of the learners as well as not engaging in activities that affects the activities of his/her teaching.
Teachers were told that teaching is more than following the syllabus, it also encompasses giving basic knowledge on other mainstreaming issues such as HIV/AIDS, Environment, and personal health, religious
The facilitators refreshed the teachers on the guidelines of preventing violence against children and adolescents in schools as was produced by the ministry of education, technology and sports. Focus was on measures of preventing violence against children and adolescents in schools.
The training also centered on the concept of violence against children and adolescents mainly focusing on the forms and cases of violence against children and adolescents such as; physical , sexual, psychological, spiritual, economic and child neglect.
The participants/teachers were then taken through the reporting, tracking, referral and response mechanisms to violence against children and adolescents as their role as care givers. To have a society that is free from violence against children and adolescents, teachers should highly be engaged.
Every school was then given a copy of children’s act and copies of Kasese district child protection ordinance.
|Teachers of Kisinga Voc Sec,Kanyenga Muslim,Karusandara SDA and Kiburara P/S during the training that was conducted from Kasese P/School with the help of 2Assistant inspector of schools.|